|Publication number||US4670834 A|
|Application number||US 06/764,346|
|Publication date||Jun 2, 1987|
|Filing date||Aug 12, 1985|
|Priority date||Aug 12, 1985|
|Also published as||CA1267467A, CA1267467A1|
|Publication number||06764346, 764346, US 4670834 A, US 4670834A, US-A-4670834, US4670834 A, US4670834A|
|Inventors||Mark Byal, Francis G. Leo, Marvin J. Schwenke|
|Original Assignee||Lamb Technicon Corp.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (20), Classifications (12), Legal Events (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention is directed to distributed information systems for monitoring and diagnosing operation of program-controlled plant machinery, and more particularly to a technique for updating diagnostic programming at distributed diagnostic stations to reflect operator-implemented changes in control programming at associated machinery programmable control stations.
Central machine information systems of the type to which the present invention is directed typically include a plurality of programmable control stations for individual control of associated plant machinery. Typical programmable control stations include programmable controllers, programmable logic controllers, weld timers, robot controllers, numerical controllers, computer numerical controllers and distributed network controllers, A number of diagnostic stations are each coupled to one or more programmable control stations and programmed to monitor operation of the programmable control stations and associated plant machinery for quality control and inventory purposes, etc. Typical tasks may include notifying operating personnel of a fault condition, diagnosing the fault, providing a restart sequence of machine operation and analyzing and displaying associated times as they occur, displaying quality control information, counting and displaying machine cycles and parts for maintenance and inventory purposes. The diagnostic stations are coupled to a central management information system information system for storing information indicative of and selectively reporting overall plant operation. The programmable control stations typically include facility for operator variation of control programming to reflect a change of conditions at the machinery, machinery wear, etc. However, failure of diagnostic programming at the associated diagnostic station to reflect such operator variation of machinery control programming may result in erroneous information at the central management information system.
It is a general object of the present invention to provide a method and system for updating such diagnostic programming in distributed machinery information systems of the described character.
The invention, together with additional objects, features and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary functional block diagram of a distributed machine information and control system in accordance with the present invention; and
FIG. 2 is a flow chart which illustrates the method of updating diagnostic programming in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 1 illustrates a distributed machine control and management information system 10 in accordance with the invention as comprising a first plurality of programmable control stations 12a, 12b, a second plurality of programmable control stations 14a, 14b, 14c and a programmable control station 15a each coupled to control an associated article of plant machinery 16a, 16b, 18a, 18b, 18c and 19a respectively. Each article or implement of plant machinery 16a-18b may comprise any typical article of controllable machinery, such as a welding machine, robot or transfer line. Programmable control stations 12a-15a each typically comprise a programmable controller adapted for storage of control programming for the associated article of plant machinery and for implementing operator variations of such control programming through a panel keyboard, for example.
Plant machining 16a, 16b and associated programmable control stations 12a, 12b are connected in a first machine diagnostic zone 20. A first machine diagnostic station 22a has an input adapted to receive information indicative of operation of machinery 16a and contains diagnostic programming for analyzing such information. Likewise, a second machine diagnostic station 22b has an input for receiving information indicative of operation of plant machinery 16b. Each of the machine diagnostic stations 22a, 22b has an I/O port connected by a first communications net 24 to a zone diagnostic station 26 which contains diagnostic programming for receiving, analyzing and correlating information indicative of operation of all plant machinery 16a, 16b within its zone. Plant machinery 18a-18c and associated programmable control stations 14a-14c are likewise connected in a diagnostic zone 28 which includes three associated machine diagnostic stations 30a-30c connected by a bus 32 to a zone diagnostic station 34. Plant machinery 19a and associated programmable control stations 15a are connected in a single-station zone 36 having a zone diagnostic station 38 and no intervening machine diagnostic stations.
Each zone diagnostic station 26, 34, 38 is connected by a communications net 40 to a central management information system 42. Central management information system 42 is linked to other central management information systems 44 by a communications link 46. System 44 is also connected to associated zone diagnostic stations, etc. (not shown). As previously indicated, central management information systems 42, 44 include suitable programming for analyzing and reporting diagnostic information on plant operation. Means, illustrated schematically as electronic switches 48-58, are adapted for selectively connecting the I/O port of each programmable control station 12a-15a to the input port of its associated diagnostic station 22a, 22b, 30a-30c and 38, or for connecting the programmable control stations directly to central management information system 42 through a second communications net 60. The control inputs of switches 48-58 are coupled to corresponding diagnostic stations 22a, 22b, 30a-30c and 38.
In operation, central management information system 42 has stored therein information indicative of the control program at each programmable control station 12a-15a. Preferably, the entire control program at each control station is stored in system 42. Such control programs are likewise stored in the individual programmable control stations 12a-15a, either by entry thereof at the associated programmable control station or by downloading the control program directly from system 42 over communications net 60. Likewise, appropriate diagnostic programming is downloaded from system 42 over net 40 to zone diagnostic stations 26, 34, 38, and further downloaded where appropriate to individual machine diagnostic stations 22a, 22b, 30a-30c over nets 24, 32. The I/O ports of control stations 12a-15c are connected by switches 48-58 to the corresponding diagnostic stations, and operation of plant machinery and the overall control and information system proceeds in the normal manner.
When an operator desires to vary the control program at a programmable control station for whatever reason, the control station is first placed in a standby or program mode, and a corresponding signal is transmitted (as is conventional) by the programmable control station to the associated diagnostic station and thence to the central management information system. When the operator program change is entered, a similar signal is transmitted by the control station and received by the central management information system (FIG. 2). In accordance with the invention, information system 42 then instructs the diagnostic station to activate the switch 48-58 associated with the programmable control station at which the program change occurred so as to connect the associated control station I/O port directly to net 60. Information indicative of the operator program change, preferably the entire changed program, is then uploaded (FIG. 2) along net 60 to central management information system 42. The changed program is compared with the previously-stored control program for the associated control station, and the program change is identified and verified as an allowable change. New diagnostic programming is fashioned within central management information system 42 to reflect such program change and is downloaded along net 40 to associated zone diagnostic station 26, 34 or 38, and thence where appropriate to the individual machine diagnostic station associated with the programmable control station which the change occurred. The diagnostic station is also instructed to reconnect the control station I/O port to the diagnostic station input bus, and the system proceeds in operation as before. The change control program is stored within information system 42 for comparison to new changes as required.
Thus, the invention automatically implements changes and updating in diagnostic programming to reflect operator changes in control programming without requiring reprogramming at the central system or extensive operator intervention. Diagnostic management information indicative of quality control, for example, will continue to reflect actual programming at the control station. One important advantage which the zone diagnostic technique illustrated schematically in FIG. 1 possesses over the prior art is the ability to arbitrate faults among a plurality of plant machinery stations. For example, zone diagnostic station 34 may be programmed to analyze fault information from machine diagnostic stations 30a-30c, which individually sense only that a fault has occurred at its associated plant machinery. Typically, where machinery 18a-18c are in a continuous production line, a significant fault will have occurred at only one machinery station and that station will be delaying operation of the others. Zone diagnostic stations 34 is programmed to arbitrate such fault indication and to indicate to maintenance personnel the machinery station at which the significant fault has occurred.
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|U.S. Classification||700/81, 714/E11.145, 714/47.1|
|International Classification||G06F9/44, G06F11/22, G05B23/02|
|Cooperative Classification||G05B23/0213, G06F8/71, G06F11/22|
|European Classification||G06F8/71, G05B23/02, G06F11/22|
|Aug 12, 1985||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LAMB TECHNICON CORP., 5663 EAST NINE MILE ROAD, WA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:BYAL, MARK;LEO, FRANCIS G.;SCHWENKE, MARVIN J.;REEL/FRAME:004443/0359
Effective date: 19850715
|Jun 20, 1990||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jan 10, 1995||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|May 25, 1995||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: WESTERN ATLAS INC., KENTUCKY
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:LAMB TECHNICON CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:007541/0759
Effective date: 19931007
|Jun 4, 1995||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Aug 15, 1995||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 19950607
|Apr 12, 1999||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: UNOVA IP CORP, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WESTERN ATLAS INC.;REEL/FRAME:009857/0137
Effective date: 19990330